Comparisons between Diana and Caroline of Brunswick and others

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Royal Highness , Royal Blogger, TRF Author
Jul 19, 2005
Des Moines
United States
Good, I like you all and would hate you to leave because of hurt feelings. I always tell my cats "be good -- don't fight!" Good words for all.

I had an idea the other day, to throw this out for discussion. I've been reading about George III's family and of course there's discussion about the Princess of Wales problem. And it seems to be that a lot of criticisms of Caroline were also the ones made about Diana... do you think Diana would have been treated in a similar fashion back around 1815?? (I know it's a little off-topic but it's interesting to compare the lives of two unhappy princesses...)
Well, Caroline was foreign, said to have bad hygiene, had an unpleasant character from what I gather, and certainly didn't have the charisma of Diana, and was no beauty. So in that respect she was no Diana. So I don't think Diana would have been treated like that back then, although since women didn't have as much influence back then, Diana wouldn't have had the influence she had later, either, and of course there was the moral double standard- Caroline was frowned on for having lovers, and Diana would have been too. Actually, didn't some people in England sympathize with Caroline because she had been unfairly treated by George IV? I thought I read that. Certainly people sympathized with Diana and thought she had been badly treated by Charles and the Royals. Diana and Caroline were different women, IMO.
But there were some very influential ladies back then, such as Diana's relative the Duchess of Devonshire and other political ladies. And some Paris Hilton-types like Lady Caro Lamb.)

I think there's some ground for the comparison because the Prince of Wales marries one woman when he's in love with another... and things go badly (probably would have helped if Caroline had been a looker).

I'm not too convinced that there's much difference in the princesses, except for hygiene and looks, and Caroline doesn't seem to have done much for the public...

But I think Diana seems to have benefited from some tolerance of marital infidelity in the 20th century.

And as for Princess Caroline's legacy, no one speaks of it all now...
There are some similarities in their circumstances, but whereas Diana is remembered by most people for her careful attention to her physical appearance and her clothing, and her lovely smile and good teeth, poor Caroline suffers very poorly in comparison in these respects. As far as I know - and I haven't read much about her so I may be wrong - Caroline didn't involve herself in any worthwhile causes, and as her only child died she wasn't even able to leave a legacy in the royal bloodlines.

Physical characteristics and children aside, it could be that, 200 years from now, just as Caroline is remembered as the princess who banged on the doors of the Abbey trying to get into her husband's coronation, Diana will be primarily remembered as being the one who died in a drink/drive high speed car crash because she wasn't wearing a seat belt.
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How did people view Caroline at the time with respect to criticisms, apart from what's been mentioned? I know people criticized Caroline for her looks, lack of hygiene etc,and infidelity. But I believe people also sympathized with her especially after she was left trying to get into her husband's coronation. I think in 200 years, obviously Diana's star will have dimmed, but also, provided the British monarchy continues, all descendents of the British Monarchy will be of Diana's blood, through William especially and Harry. That's a lasting legacy, and as someone whose blood is carried on through the British monarchy, I don't think she will just be relagated to the foot notes of history. She was also a beauty and glamourous, and though fashions and styles of beauty change, I feel her pictures will still convey her beauty in 200 years. I don't think, for those two reasons, Diana will just vanish away into history, the way Caroline mostly has. I'd venture to say had Caroline's daughter Charlotte lived to be Queen and had children who lived, or either one, Caroline would be more remembered today. Also, had Caroline been a beauty, you'd bet she would be more remembered today. Appreciation for a pretty face never changes.
Good, I like you all and would hate you to leave because of hurt feelings. I always tell my cats "be good -- don't fight!" Good words for all.
Personally, I enjoy spirited discussion much more than one way soliloques, as long as opinions can be backed up by reasoning. There is nothing more boring in life than total agreement in everything. (Unless you are living under a totalitarian regime & your life depend on it.):flowers:

I really don't know much about Caroline to contribute to the comparison to Diana. If anything, the passage of time, I would question on the accuracy of most popular conceptions of Caroline (bad hygene, for example). And I don't see how a discourse on Caroline contributes to Diana's legacy.:ermm:
I think the popular conceptions of Caroline are accurate. I think comparisons between Diana and Caroline fair because both were the only estranged wives of a Prince of Wales I know of, and so Caroline's legacy of how she was treated, etc, as the estranged wife of a Prince of Wales has some points of comparison with how Diana was treated as a estranged wife of a Prince of Wales. But they were quite different people.
:previous: Times were very different, so it is impossible to compare the two, IMO.
Does anyone know if any authors have ever compared to the two? I seem to remember reading in one biography of Diana ( but I've read so many), comparisons between the two.
Princess D can be compared with Louise the mother of Prince Albert who was the husband of Queen Victoria (the grandmother of Europe). Both are interesting historical figures who have similar elements in their personal histories. They each have 2 sons and married at a very young age -- Diana at 20; Louise at 16. They were also separated from their husbands. They were both exceptionally popular with the public.

In some way, yes. But Luise was also separated from her two sons after the she had to leave the court of Coburg. And she suffered badly from that separation.

There are a few analogies between those two women indeed. Both, as you pointed out, married at a very young age, their marriages were unhappy because of infidelities, both were loved by the public and both died young (Luise at the age of 30, suffering from cancer) and what's quite 'interesting' - Diana died on 31 August 1997 in Paris, Luise on 30 August 1831 also in Paris.
Was there a Princess Diana of those times? I wonder.
Prince Albert's mother Louise can be compared with Princess Diana in some of their very similar personal histories. They both married very young and had 2 sons. They got separated and divorced from their husbands. They also were very popular with the public; Diana is still mourned today and when Louise was exiled 2 days of public riots occured, which was very unusual in Germany at that time.
His mother Louise, tired of her husband's affairs, had one of her own. She was banished by Albert's father (the hypocrite) and died shortly afterwards.
Louise can be likened to Princess Diana in our times as she was also very popular with the people during her time. There 2 days of public riots when she was exiled, and Diana is still mourned today. Diana campaigned versus land mines and AIDS. Louise tried and failed to institute free clothes for poor children and apprenticeships for poor boys. Apprenticeships were the only way to progress up the social/career ladder in the 19th century.

They each had 2 sons. They both died young; Diana at 38, Louise at 31.
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Um, I don't know if bumping an old thread is against the rules, so if they are please tell me.
I don't see any similarities between Caroline and Diana; the way Caroline was treated was horrible and indefensible. So she wasn't beautiful; that doesn't excuse the treatment she received. Diana was welcomed by her in-laws and Charles loved her in a way just not the way she expected from a husband. But Charles always treated her with respect and the love due to the mother of his children. Which is something neither Caroline of Brunswick or Louise of Saxe-Gotha.
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